Campus seems short on resources this semester

Drive around the parking lot, try to work at a computer in the library, or just try to sit in a classroom, and you’ll quickly notice a reoccurring problem. In every instance, two words will slip out of your mouth: not enough.
At first, I was convinced that there were more students on campus. I admit, the parking situation has always been a problem, and with limited space, the Parking and Transportation Department is doing all it can to increase the number of parking spaces. However, as a senior, I can’t recall any other year when there has been such a lack of resources on campus in term of computers and classroom seats available to students.
Office of Planning and Institutional Research, which keeps data for the University, says that student enrollment has increased by about 100 students, although they won’t have definite numbers until October. That’s not a big enough increase to warrant such an epiphany on my part. Nevertheless, the problem still exists.
Unless it’s 7:30 a.m. or 6:00 p.m., it’s almost guaranteed that students will have to wait for a computer in the library. Once a student has obtained one, he or she has to pray that the Internet works correctly, that the floppy disk drive is functioning or that there isn’t a long line at the printers, another phenomenon I personally don’t remember witnessing in the past.
The problem that is probably the most severe is one commonly seen in K-12 public schools: class size. The university boasts that over 75% of classrooms have 26 or fewer students. If that statistic is accurate, I must have very bad luck, especially as a senior. I have classes where there aren’t enough chairs for students and they have to either sit on the floor or lean against a wall. I’ve past by the LC, peaked through the glass doors, and observed the same problem in other classrooms. Perhaps the statistic is correct, and only 25% of classes have this problem, but, that’s 25% too many.
With the price tag this university has, there is no excuse for even one student to have to be sitting on the floor or standing in line for computers. We pay too much money for the right to have a comfortable learning environment. If this were a public school, I would understand the need to be accommodating. Students there pay less, and have a much larger population to contend with. At the University of Miami, however, many students chose to come here because of the “small” student population that it boasts to have. Yet, everywhere I look, there is not enough. But since student body size remains average, I’m sure administrators are aware of the problem and will be quick to fix it.
Until then, I urge students to be mindful and accommodating of the university’s lack of resources. Allocate an extra hour to look for a parking space, use the library computers for work, not games, and bring comfortable pillows to sit on in class, perhaps even your own folding chair.
Jean-Paul Renaud is a senior majoring in journalism and political science.

September 24, 2002


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